Friday, August 22, 2003
Instapundit seems taken aback and troubled by this story:
American investigators looking into the suicide bombing of the United Nations compound on Tuesday are focusing on the possibility that the attackers were assisted by Iraqi security guards who worked there, a senior American official here said today.

The official said all of the guards at the compound were agents of the Iraqi secret services, to whom they reported on United Nations activities before the war.
My only reaction is, well, duh! It's not like this is some kind of new tactic -- in most countries, not just police states like Iraq, "staff" who work at enemy outposts are usually agents of the local intelligence services. You've got precious close access to enemy staff, equipment, and documents, where anything glimpsed might give a crucial insight, and every slip-up needs to be taken advantage of -- would anyone really send an ordinary work-a-day slob into that environment, and blow such an opportunity? Come on -- of course the guards at the UN HQ in Iraq were really Mukhabarat agents. So were the plumbers, the electricians, the nearby waiters and barbers and tailors -- hell, most of the prostitutes probably filed contact reports. This isn't wild-eyed paranoia, it's just common sense, and part of the diplomatic game.

IP also asks, "But why on Earth did the U.N. hire guys who had been spying on them as guards?" That I couldn't tell you, but my best guess would be simple arrogance, inertia, and incompetence. We're talking about the UN here, after all.

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